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SDEtv looks back / John Lennon: Signature box set unboxed

John Lennon / Signature box unboxed

SDE lifts the lid on the 2010 box set

Back in 2010, EMI and Yoko Ono masterminded a reissue campaign for John Lennon. There were many physical products issued at the time, including a new best of (Power to the People) a 4CD anthology (Gimme Some Truth), eight albums remastered, a special 2CD version of Double Fantasy featuring a ‘Stripped Down’ remix, and a Signature box set. Watch this unboxing video of the Signature box as SDEtv looks back…

It turns out that this box is still available and reasonably well priced, too.

Compare prices and pre-order

John Lennon

Signature Box

Currency:

Albums in the box set:

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
Imagine
Some Time In New York City
Mind Games
Walls and Bridges
Rock ‘N’ Roll
Double Fantasy
Milk and Honey

Bonus CDs in the box set:

Singles

Power to the People
Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)
Cold Turkey (single version)
Move Over Ms L
Give Peace A Chance

Studio Outtakes / Home Recordings

Mother
Love
God
I Found Out
Nobody Told Me
Honey Don’t
One Of The Boys
India, India
Serve Yourself
Isolation
Remember
Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die

29 responses to SDEtv looks back / John Lennon: Signature box set unboxed

  1. voxstarstream says:

    I bought the Signature box and the Box Of Vision together in a bundle. There was a U.S. company that was offering the two together as a package deal at the time (can’t remember their name),. They even let you purchase it in 3 equal monthly installments, so I went for it. I bought all of the re-mix CD’s as they came out, and although interesting I still prefer the original mixes.

  2. SeanL says:

    Just listened to the striped version of Double Fantasy….got to admit I loved it after not hearing it for a long time…thanks for the reminder Paul, love the site :)

  3. Wayne Klein says:

    This is a nice set if you want to get all of the albums in one place. I still like the remixed versions of the albums better though.

  4. Gerry Hassan says:

    Thanks for this Paul,
    I checked this out on Amazon and after seeing the great price was away to buy today: Friday afternoon.

    As of today it is now priced on Amazon at the outrageous £115 which I won’t be paying. Know you don’t have any Amazon inside track info but wondered if had any assessment whether the price will go back down – in which case I would purchase.

  5. Andy says:

    Hi nice to read all the great comments of JL’s music. I too agree that Mind Games is a hidden gem, lots of great tracks. I have a 3CD bootleg called “Absolute Elsewhere” which is great and worth owning just for the revised Mind Games artwork on the outer slip case. I’m sure there is enough in the can for a Mind Games deluxe box at some point (2023?) and I hope Plastic Ono Band gets a deluxe this year after Let it Be is out.
    I bought the Signature LP box set when it came out and its nice to have but I must say I was disappointed no hard cover book or even a booklet included. I had earlier bought the Box of Vision which although empty of music is a fantastic piece of art in a beautiful large quality textured box with a kind of “photo album” concept folder in which to store all his CD’s as well as having a large hard cover book with all the replica artwork and a soft cover book called Catalography. The two complement each other in my collection now. Really enjoying listening to my collection while working at home now and pulling out all the fantastic items I had forgotten about or never had the time to listen to. So glad I have a great music collection.
    Thanks Paul for this great site too! Cheers Andy

  6. -SG- says:

    I like these retro box videos Paul. It is interesting to see how the boxed set has evolved. I wanted to get this when it came out but never got around to it. I had access to the music so I gave that a listen as I had never heard all of Lennon’s 70’s music. I was surprised how depessing his music was overall hearing these records really illustrates how Lennon and McCartney were the ultimate foils to each others weaknesses…. together McCartney gains depth and Lennon becomes funny…. While this set used the same disc design as the beatles reissues, I think it would have been much more satisfying with mini lp replicas like the Bowie boxes or the Beatles in Mono box. The abscence of the previous bonus tracks, the acoustic album and other key stray recordings released posthumously made this set seem incomplete, with the home recordings left as the only real exclusive. It was not really made to entice collectors, but was too big and expensive for casual fans. I think it should have included all of his albums to make it definitive. Actually the 4 disc set Gimme Some Truth set is actually a much better summation of his work for a more casual fan, you dont get everything, but it gives you a real depth to his catalogue you may miss if you are left to wade through all of his records on your own; it really does capture his new york period very well and you may be more likely to put one of those discs on. As I read here some people who have this artifact have never taken these out to play…. my question is, what are you waiting for? that problem should be remedied at once.

  7. David M says:

    I thought about getting it, but went for the Gimme Some Truth 4 CD set which has about 70 or 80% of the content for a quarter of the price.

  8. GTR says:

    Good stuff, Paul.

    Re: the johnLennon.com/universe website which comes with the box, a good future article could be similar websites or downloads as part of SDE’s which no longer work. Do the McCartney downloads still work from the ‘Flowers in the Dirt’ debacle?

    • -SG- says:

      I remember Elvis Costello had some download gimmick with a couple of his albums, neither one if his sites delivered the goods… 2018’s Good The Bad & The Queen had a deluxe set with 2 exclusive songs as a download, I suppose an extra CD or 7″ vinyl was too much to ask. In less than a year the downloads were no longer available though the deluxe set was still being sold, oddly the card included with the box had a download code but no url, when looking further I was told the dowloads were no longer available. Online bonus tracks are one of the biggest garbage concepts. As the music industry is notorious for inconsistency and flakiness if you dont get it when you buy it, you may just have an empty bag that lets out a laugh when you open it to see the contents.

  9. Steve says:

    I bought the vinyl box set, but was disappointed there wasn’t the equivalent singles / demos disc with it. :( But vinyl was in the relegation zone back then, the cd releases had all the extra tracks.
    Thanks for the video Paul, keep em coming. What happened to the Supergrass one?

  10. David Bly says:

    I also bought this when it first came out, but at this point I don’t remember whom I bought it from (I think it was a US company, but not Amazon).

    The 1st copy had gouges on the top and the side of the box, so I wrote the vendor about this. Surprisingly, they did not require me to send the 1st copy back!

    But then the 2nd copy also came damaged with similar gouges, but not as bad, and so I contacted them again, expecting at this point I would’ve had to send back one of the boxes.

    Amazingly, they didn’t ask for one, and sent me a 3rd copy, which was fine!
    Ultimately, I gave the 1st bad copy to a friend, and decided to keep the 2nd bad copy just cause I wanted too.

    I’ve always wondered how many other copies were damaged and how many others asked for replacement copies. They must’ve lost some money on that thingy.

    Oh, and it’s a great collection!

  11. puptonbluton says:

    Great video Paul, I too picked this up for a bargain price after a SDE tip-off, and it’s made me dig it out to reacquaint myself with the admittedly variable solo output of JL. think it’s a really nicely designed box and it’s great to have all the albums and singles in one place, but do agree that the design and packaging of the individual discs is a bit average. As you say, they replicate the Beatles stereo remasters, which I always thought were a below par for such a significant catalogue, and I still don’t like those faux obi-strips, which just distract the eye from the artwork.

    The super deluxe of Imagine was fantastic and I would hope for something similar with POB later this year. The question of whether all of his studio output will get (or deserves) the super deluxe treatment is an interesting, and of course highly subjective, one. I totally agree with others comments that Mind Games is hugely underrated, and the rest of the albums are no worse (in some cases much better to my mind) than what Macca was putting out at this time, nearly all of which have been given the deluxe treatment, with the others expected in due course. If someone told me ten years ago Red Rose Speedway would get a six-disc box I would have thought them mad. So with the logic that less than amazing albums deserve that treatment, I suspect that we will see deluxe versions of all the other Lennon albums. Whether I would buy them is another question……

    • WILLIAM ENGLAND says:

      I hsve a 6 cd b**tl*g set for Mind Games, so there seems plenty of material to mine for that lp, I have nothing for STINYC apart from the OneOnOne concert – part of which was released in 1985, and a 2-disc rehearsals set.

  12. Marc Kieser says:

    The 2010 John Lennon – The Hits album ‘Power to the People’ – CD + DVD can still be picked up at DODAX (co.uk/nl/de/fr) for less than 10 pounds/11 euros, postage included.

  13. Karl says:

    Something about Lennon’s music is honest and he’s not afraid of his feelings. My weekend morning feel good music.
    I play his music anytime and it’s intelligent as well as inspiring. A great collection and the remastering is top drawer!!!!

  14. Kevin Wollenweber says:

    I bought the SIGNATURE BOX when it first came out and am still very happy with it. In fact, I might be in the minority here, but I often wish that Yoko Ono would reissue her own “signature” box, ONO BOX, again, updating it to include all her solo output with possible bonuses. I was not aware that there was a larger Ono/Lennon box out there to include a hard cover picture and lyric booklet, but money was tight for me at that time, so I probably would have ordered the SIGNATURE box just for all the music.

  15. Michael says:

    “Signature Box” was the third John Lennon box set I bought over a 20 year period. I was never thrilled with the design of “Signature Box.”

    To remedy this, and to consolidate all three Lennon box sets, I bought the limited edition 14″ x 15″ John Lennon “Box of Vision,” which was an empty large slip case notebook folder with beautiful silver & white replication of Andy Warhol’s image of John Lennon on the front. The notebook folder did include a big hard cover book and large soft cover photo book of John Lennon, both books authorized by Yoko Ono, and were exclusive to the box set. I placed all the CDs from the JL box sets, plus took all the DVD and Blu-ray John Lennon documentaries and movies I had to create one giant super deluxe box set.

  16. Rich E says:

    Think this was the first thing I bought on the back of an SDE deal alert. My bank account has never been the same since. Sometime later I got the vinyl set on the back of another alert. This was pre-email alerts when one would have to keep checking the site on the off chance there was a bargain to be had.

    Can’t say my opinion of Lennon’s solo work has changed much over my lifetime. Every once in a while I dip in to see if I was mistaken in believing there was nothing much doing after the first two albums. To date I am not convinced I am.

    Thanks for these videos Paul. Good to see some older sets under the spotlight.

    • John McCann says:

      Go back and listen to the mind games album,some Hidden gems in that one,in fact its my favourite Lennon l.p

      • AndyB says:

        @John McCann

        I Know (I Know) and Aisumasen (I’m Sorry) may be my two favorite Lennon songs. The album doesn’t get the respect it deserves, and I don’t know why.

        • John McCann' says:

          I couldn’t remember how to spell aisumasen, so that’s why I said a few hidden gems,but this was indeed the song i was referring too,got this l.p in 81, when I was 12 and always thought that it was a great song,and always wondered if i was the only person who thought so,as it never gets a mention anywhere, so maybe the ultimate deep cut?, also free the people a much better song than power to the people in my view, again it dont make the collection’s!

        • Andreas says:

          True.

          I think the album is much better in its 2002 remix.
          The original mix always sounded a bit semi-professional (at lease to these ears).

  17. Lar says:

    Got mine cheap online about seven years ago and have never opened it. Now I have this video!!! The patchy nature of most of his studio albums never really got me, although Plastic Ono Band is terrific.

  18. Thilo says:

    The Box is 119,99€ at JPC Germany

  19. Max Wilbury says:

    Congratulations Paul on those SDEtv looks back, I really enjoy them and I’m sure in some cases it could give the opportunity to some readers to purchase (now at a lower price sometimes) some of them.

    As much as I loved the content of the Lennon Signature box, I haters hated this box itself. Sorry, this might come out harsh but God (no pin intended) did I hated all those foam, not foam, how do you call it ? The polystyrene thingy.
    So much that one day (we were moving and I was taking care of my cd collection), I went mad on it and ripped it all ! And I’m a maniac when it comes to take care of booklets, boxsets and such. Now that I got rid of this nonsense, my box nicely accommodates the albums to which I have added the Japanese cd replica released fee years back with the 2000 remixes.

    Well done again, I’m a fan of your blog.

  20. Robert Peel says:

    How embarrassing is it I bought this on release day and still haven’t even opened it

    I need to have a work with myself

  21. Aaron says:

    I got the box and the stripped down Double Fantasy which fits nicely in the box…

    I never did got Power or Gimme…I really should remedy that one day!

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